Mortality Part I

Please note: This entry was written when I was dealing with the possibility of having cancer. I have been to several doctors and have been given a clean bill of health.

Yesterday my biggest concern was missing my One and a trust issue with my husband. Today I may be dying.

I had been having a mild ache in my breast for a couple of days. I asked my husband if we had done anything different during our last play that might have caused this pain. We discussed our most recent play in detail; what did and did not occur. We both decided there was nothing untoward that would cause this pain in my left breast. My husband looked at me and said  offhandedly “You don’t have a lump or anything do you?” I thought nothing of it at the time but, as offhanded remarks often do, his words sat in my head, not leaving me alone. He went off to his gig and I went to bed with the word “lump” rattling around my brain. I laid in bed awake thinking about when my last mammogram was (at least 4 years ago) and when I had last done a self breast exam (also years ago). I stopped doing self exams when I got frustrated by all of the lumps in my fibrocystic breasts. How could anyone feel anything among the naturally occurring bumps and hard cysts? I gave up, confident in my family’s lack of cancer history. And besides, I nursed my son for 13 months, natural cancer prevention, right?


But still, those words “You don’t have a lump or anything …” I lay in bed and allowed my fingers to palpate my sore breast. There were all the little lumps and bumps I had remembered from years ago… except … on the top of my breast … I felt a large solid area that had not been there before. I thought, certainly it was there, and I just don’t remember. I palpated my right breast seeking similar topography, finding none. Again and again, I palpated the golf ball sized lump in my left breast. Hoping each time that I had been mistaken the previous time but finding the same spot. Finally I thought “Well I’ve always thought I would die of cancer. I guess this is the beginning.”

I told no one. I got up this morning and ran my normal Friday errands. I called the number for a gyno I had been referred to at least a year ago. Her number had been hanging on the side of the fridge untouched ever since. I called her and the soonest they could book me in was two weeks.

I popped into chat looking for my One on the very slim chance that he would be there. He was not, of course. This being his last day overseas he was off doing vacation-y things, as well he should be. I went into the room I frequent and greeted the regulars. Some asked how I am. “I’m ok.” Those who watch my responses know this is what I say when I’m having a tough time for one reason or another. Complex was there “Still just ok?” I had been offering this response since my One left for vacation, Complex notices these things. “I’m here if you need an ear.” She had been making this offer to me, just about daily, for a week or so. I never accept. Not because I don’t appreciate it but because I’m not one of those that uses chat to be a professional victim. Today was different. Today I asked if I could speak with her privately, “Of course. You never have to ask.”

I told her that I had been upset because my One is away but now that hardly mattered. I typed the words “I found a lump in my breast last night.” and hit enter. The reality of seeing those words on screen broke my composure and I began sobbing. After some conversation she urged me to tell my husband. I had shared with her that I wasn’t going to trouble him with it until I knew for sure one way or the other but I doubted I could hold it together for the two weeks I now had to wait to see a doctor.

A short time later, the chat host dumped me from the site. This never happens to me. I took it as a sign. I called DH at work, something I never, but never do. Still crying, I asked if he could come home. I eventually sobbed out the words “I found a lump”. He said he was on his way.

After crying in his arms for some undetermined amount of time, he went off to make phone calls. DH managed to find a doctor who would see me Monday afternoon. This doctor is an hour away and it will mean pulling LM out of school early because the appointment coincides with the school bus schedule but  I cannot face this alone. I feel needy. Weak. Dependent. I tell myself that if this is cancer, and I’m pretty sure it is, I had better get used to feeling this way. This is not something I can do alone, no matter how badly I may want to.


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